attach the CD as scsi like here
scsi0:0.present = "true"
scsi0:0.startConnected = "TRUE"
scsi0:0.deviceType = "cdrom-raw"
scsi0:0.filename = "E:"
I've burnt several DVDs through VMware Workstation without any issues. By default VMware Workstation adds a CD/DVD (IDE) device set to "Use physical drive" -> Auto detect. This configuration works great for me.
From my personal experience we don't care enough about things we run in a VM machine - quite often I close VM (not power it down using the usual Start -> Shutdown sequence) without thinking about consequences.
Another problem is that the desktop virtualization is not 100% reliable - you run your host OS which might be buggy, then VMWare itself can hit some bugs, then your guest with its drivers for "virtual" hardware can hit some bugs.